Dr. Salman Noshear Arshad, Assistant Professor at the Department of Chemistry, Syed Babar Ali School of Science and Engineering(SBASSE), has been awarded a research grant of PKR 13.6 million by Higher Education Commission (HEC), Govt. of Pakistan, under the National Research Program for Universities (NRPU).
The title of his proposal is “Surface modulated carbon nanofibers for enhanced toughening in Nano-composites”.
Nanotechnology offers unique opportunities to develop novel material combinations, known as nano-composites, which potentially can bypass typical material performance trade-offs. At nanometer length scales, the significantly higher interfacial area between phases become dominant in determining the overall performance. The strength and toughness of carbon nanofiber reinforced polymer nano-composites can be maximized by tailoring the nanofiber surfaces. For example, introducing surface undulations is expected to increase the fracture toughness by enhanced crack-tip shielding. To date, this has not been investigated experimentally mainly due to difficulty in synthesizing such materials and limitations in nanoscale testing. The focus of this project will be on (1) Utilizing materials chemistry and rheology of polymer solutions to synthesize surface modulated carbon nanofibers in large quantities and at low cost, (2) Development of a nanoscale mechanical testing facility at LUMS, and (3) Establishing an optimum structure-property relationship for these nano-composites.